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Department: Editorial

HCMR’s new impact factor: How it happened

Issel, L. Michele PhD, RN

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Health Care Management Review: 10/12 2018 - Volume 43 - Issue 4 - p 271
doi: 10.1097/HMR.0000000000000221
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Health Care Management Review (HCMR) has reached a new milestone: an impact factor of 2.477. When I submitted the paperwork some years ago to have HCMR included in the impact factor listings, I did not anticipate the importance that impact factors would have. The gradual and persistent increase in HCMR’s impact factor has been possible because of two key factors: the increasing quality and relevance of manuscripts we receive and the monumental contribution of many reviewers who donate their time. The increase in impact factor is a testament to the relevance, timeliness, and interestingness of the manuscripts published by HCMR.

As Editor-in-Chief, one of my editorial responsibilities is to foster the publication of high-quality and relevant manuscripts in HCMR. There are three primary ways in which I work to accomplish this. First, I participate on “meet the editors” panels at national conferences and promote HCMR at events in the health care management community. The purpose of the editor panels is to inform potential authors about HCMR’s focus and how they can be successful in their submission. The questions, as predictable as they might be, deserve to be answered. This helps to make HCMR accessible to a broader audience of potential contributors. The remainder of this editorial provides an overview of my role and basic HCMR policies.

Second, I orchestrate the review process, which culminates in a decision to accept a manuscript for publication or not. The review process begins with an internal assessment of the fit of the manuscript with the mission of HCMR and the manuscript’s quality in terms of scientific rigor and potential to advance the health care management discipline. As the impact factor has risen, so too has the submission of manuscripts (up 36% between 2012 and 2017), many of which are not a good fit with the mission of HCMR or below our quality threshold. Thus, desk reject rate is now 64%, a necessary step to minimize the burden on HCMR’s wonderful reviewers. Each manuscript sent to reviewers for blinded peer review receives three developmental reviews. The ability of the authors to respond to the thoughtful suggestions of reviewers has made a major contribution toward the increase in the impact factor. Rarely does a manuscript go through more than two revisions. The final accept for publication rate is 19%.

Third, I draw upon the assistance of an Associate Editor, a position established 2 years ago to assist with the workload, and an Editorial Board consisting of 18 scholars who have published in HCMR and served as reliable and helpful reviewers. Each Editorial Board member serves a 3-year term. This approach to choosing and rotating members rewards active supporters of HCMR who are scholars in their own right. I consult with the Editorial Board for advice on ethical issues and future directions for HCMR. Their insights and perspectives have been valuable in making strategic decisions. The support from current and former HCMR Editorial Board members has, I believe, also contributed to the increase in the impact factor.

Although I am proud of the improvement in impact factor, it reminds me that it would not be possible without the contributions of authors, reviewers, the board, the publisher, and other supporters. Thanks to all. Now, let’s raise the impact factor even higher.

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